Valuing Natural Capital: Future Proofing Business and Finance

Valuing Natural Capital: Future Proofing Business and Finance
  for £35.00 no VAT
  for £30.00 inc VAT


Companies that will succeed in the long-term are integrating natural and social capital into their business model now. 

Natural capital, the resources and critical support services nature provides, underpins our entire global economy. Yet despite its vast social and economic value, the many benefits of natural capital are often assumed to be 'free'. 

The future shock for business is the potential for profit to be wiped out as natural capital is internalized through regulation and markets. Freshwater, forests and biodiversity are being consumed at an alarming rate, and critical support systems such as the ability to regulate climate are failing.  

As these and other sustainability challenges develop, businesses and their investors need to understand their role in maintaining natural capital and their natural capital risks and opportunities. The language of finance provides a useful approach for communicating trade-offs and prioritizing sustainability at CFO, CEO and board level: companies who 'future-proof' now will position themselves to thrive in a resource-constrained world. They will mitigate risk, secure their resource supplies, create long-term value and enhance their resilience, reputation and competitive advantage. 

This book provides a succinct introduction to natural capital: 
  • what natural capital is and how it links to other capitals
  • the business case for using it in decision-making
  • where natural capital accounting and valuation fit in the sustainability and financial toolbox
  • and what real life early adopters of natural capital in business are doing. 
Views from natural capital leaders across business, finance, accounting, government, research and NGO communities illustrate the theory with practice. 

Included: Quotes and case examples from CFOs, CEOs and Heads of Sustainability in early adopter businesses (Kingfisher Group, Dow Chemical Company, The Crown Estate, Patagonia®, United Utilities and Marks & Spencer) and financial institutions (Inter-American Development Bank, Citi Group and Credit Suisse). 


"It is so refreshing to see a readable, well presented, and positive account of valuing ecosystems and nature’s functions in a manner likely to persuade any business. Highly recommended."
Professor Tim O’Riordan OBE DL FBA, Emeritus Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, Member of the Board of The Natural Capital Initiative and an Executive Editor of Environment Magazine
“Dr Maxwell’s book Valuing Natural Capital is a really important contribution to a vital topic that businesses need to understand, and especially for the CEOs who are 
charged with the longer-term stewardship of their firms.”
Sir Ian Cheshire, Former Group CEO, Kingfisher plc


Dr Dorothy Maxwell has been working in sustainability with businesses, government and NGOs for 24 years in the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific. She has a PhD in Environmental Science and Masters in Environmental Economics & Law. She specializes in sustainability in business. She has worked with Accenture and Willis risk management, was Director of the Irish government Sustainable Business Programme and an environmental policy-maker with the European Commission and United Nations Environment Programme. Since 2006, she is the Founding Director of The Sustainable Business Group (previously Global View Sustainability Services (GVSS)) consultancy whose clients include Wal-Mart, Nike, the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and European Commission. She has been Special Advisor to The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and DEFRA’s Sustainable Products and Green Economy programmes (2006–10). She was the founding Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition (2012–14) and author of their 2014 Valuing Nature in Business. 
She is a lecturer on sustainable business at Imperial College London. A passionate advocate about the need for clear business communication on what can be complex sustainability topics, she speaks at events and has authored multiple publications. 


Foreword: Sir Ian Cheshire, former Group CEO Kingfisher plc
Abstract and Keywords
About the author
Who is this book for?

Future-proofing against natural capital shocks
Business case for corporations
Business case for financial institutions
Natural capital and its links to social capital
Scale of the problem

Business applications

Case example: Patagonia® Merino On A Mission – Maintaining Grassland Ecosystem Services
Case example: United Utilities Triple Bottom Line Accounting
Case example: Dow Chemical Company
Case example: Making a positive impact – The Crown Estate’s Total Contribution
Case example: Sustainability at the Otto Group – A matter of measure and management
Case example: Marks and Spencer Net Benefit Approach

State of play
Green Economy & beyond GDP/GNP
Market incentives
Transparency and accountability
Emerging business models for value creation

Mindset and incentives
Bridging barriers when worlds collide
Limitations in metrics and data
Pros and cons of monetization


Appendix – Further resources
Notes and References


Title: Valuing Natural Capital: Future Proofing Business and Finance
Author: Dorothy Maxwell
Publication Date: April 2015
Page extent: 100
Formats and ISBNs: 
pdf 9781910174463
epub 9781910174456
print 9781910174449